Gout is a type of arthritis that is caused by a build up in the body of uric acid, which is found in meats and other foods, and is also produced in the body. When this production is out of balance or there is inadequate elimination of uric acid, gout occurs. As uric acid rises to unhealthy levels in the body, it crystallizes in the joint cartilage, synovial tissue and fluid. These sharp, needle-like clusters create piercing pain in the joints. Other symptoms include fever, chills, and loss of mobility. Loss of mobility can then lead to weight gain, lethargy, stiffness, and lack of energy and motivation, further complicating the original situation.
Some of the health problems caused by gout include constipation, indigestion, headaches, depression, eczema, and hives, and those who suffer from gout also run a much higher risk of heart and kidney problems.
In 50% of gout cases, the first attack is characterized by intense pain in the first joint of the big toe. If the attack progresses, fever and chills will appear. Initial gout attacks usually strike at night and are preceded by a specific event such as excessive alcohol ingestion, trauma, certain drugs, or surgery.
Subsequent attacks are common, with most patients experiencing another attack within one year. However, nearly 7% of gout sufferers never have a second attack. The condition affects approximately three out of every 1,000 adults and is primarily a disease of adult men, 95% of gout sufferers being males over the age of 30.
Excess uric acid lodges in cartilage and joint fluids to cause sharp, stabbing pains in the joints, as well as impaired mobility and, in some cases, chills and fever. Bloating, constipation and indigestion are common symptoms caused by gout, as is depression, eczema, headache, and sometimes rashes or hives.
In approximately half of all cases of gout, the first and most common symptom experienced is sudden and severe pain in one or more joints – typically your big toe. Gout is extremely painful; some people feel it’s as painful as childbirth.
Symptoms often develop at night and feel worse at this time, although they can occur at any time. Inflammation, lack of motivation, lack of exercise and resulting weight gain, often accompany gout.
Other symptoms include:
- swelling (inflammation) in and around the affected joint
- red, shiny skin over the affected joint
- peeling, itchy and flaky skin over the affected joint as the inflammation subsides
The intense pain that gout causes can make walking and getting around difficult. Even the light pressure of a bed cover or blanket can be painful.
While gout is most common in the big toe, it can affect any peripheral limb joint and can occur in two or more joints at the same time.
Affected joints may include:
If gout is left untreated, it is more likely to affect more than one joint as it progresses.
Pattern of symptoms:
It is difficult to predict when an attack will occur. Symptoms can develop rapidly over a few hours and usually last for 3-10 days. After this time, the joint will start to feel normal again and any pain or discomfort should eventually disappear completely.
Just over half of all people with gout (62%) experience a repeat attack within a year. You may experience symptoms every few weeks, months or years, but it is impossible to predict when the condition will recur. Some only experience a few attacks in their lifetime.
You should seek the advice of a registered medical practitioner if you suspect you have gout particularly if it hasn’t been previously diagnosed. It is important that a diagnosis is confirmed because occasionally more serious conditions, such as an infected joint, can cause similar symptoms. You should seek medical help immediately if you have a high temperature of above 38C (100.4F) as well as joint pain and swelling, as you may have an infection inside the joint (septic arthritis).
Gout is caused by excessive accumulation of uric acid in the tissues. The underlying cause of uric acid accumulation is unknown, yet research has found that it can basically be attributed to metabolic or kidney problems. Increased production of uric acid may be the result of metabolic enzyme defects, certain types of chronic anemia, or other complex conditions.
Dehydration and kidney disease can cause poor clearance of uric acid from the body.
Proper diet, nutrition, and metabolic balance all play crucial roles in the prevention and treatment of this disease. The conception of gout as a condition of affluence is tenuous, but a heavy diet, particularly organ meats that increase amount of uric acid, and alcohol consumption, can hinder the removal of uric acid by the kidneys.
Although most people initiate a gout attack through poor lifestyle choices (obesity, rich
foods, alcohol), 10%-15% of gout patients have attacks due to a metabolic problem, such as a deficiency of enzymes (xanthine oxidase) and purine imbalances. Purines come from certain foods (meat products, especially liver and other organ meats, sausages and other processed meats, anchovies, crab, shrimp, milk, eggs, and many beans, including soy), but are also normally present, in the form of DNA and RNA in the cells. Purines are broken down into uric acid, which is then normally excreted through the urine.
Medications, including aspirin and diuretics, can cause gout by putting extra stress on the kidneys; these drugs cause 25% of new gout cases. Kidney stones and other kidney problems are present in 90% of gout sufferers, because urate crystals also accumulate in the kidneys.
These crystals accumulate because of the build-up of uric acid. They occur if you produce too much uric acid or excrete too little when you urinate and the crystals form in and around joints. They are hard, needle-shaped and build up slowly over several years, and you will not know this is happening.
The crystals may cause two problems:
- Some may spill over into the soft lining of the joint (synovium), which causes the pain and inflammation associated with gout.
- Some pack together to form hard, slowly expanding lumps of crystals (“tophi”) which can cause progressive damage to the joint and nearby bone; this eventually leads to irreversible joint damage which causes pain and stiffness when the joint is being used.
Factors which increase your risk of gout include:
- age and gender: gout is more common when you get older and is three-to-four times more likely in men
- being overweight or obese
- having high blood pressure or diabetes
- having close relatives with gout (gout often runs in families)
- having long-term kidney problems that reduce the elimination of uric acid
- a diet rich in purines; such as frequently eating sardines and liver
- drinking too much beer or spirits – these types of alcoholic drinks contain relatively high levels of purines
Some things can increase the amount of uric acid in your blood, making you more likely to develop gout. These risk factors fall into one of two categories:
- medical conditions known to increase levels of uric acid, such as obesity, high blood pressure (hypertension), high lipid levels and long-standing impairment of kidney function
- lifestyle factors, such as diet or certain types of medication that you may be taking
Certain types of medication can increase your uric acid levels and your risk of developing gout. These include:
- diuretics, used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) or an abnormal build-up of fluid in your body
- niacin, used to treat high cholesterol
Men are more likely to develop gout than women because their uric acid levels rise during puberty. During the menopause, women experience a similar, albeit smaller, rise in their uric acid levels. This explains why symptoms start later in women than in men.
Foods naturally high in purines include:
Alcoholic drinks raise the level of uric acid in the blood by increasing its production in the liver and by reducing how much is passed out in urine.
Beer and spirits do so more than wine, and beer also contains significant quantities of purines. (Moderate consumption of wine – one or two glasses a day – should not significantly increase your risk of gout).
Studies have shown that gout often runs in families. Around one-in-five people with gout have a close family member who also has the condition.
Medical conditions that can increase your risk of developing gout include:
- high blood pressure (hypertension)
- diabetes, both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes
- kidney disease
- having high levels of fat and cholesterol levels in your blood
Gout attacks occur most frequently in the joints of the feet and hands, possibly because the temperature in these joints is often lower than the rest of the body, which increases the likelihood of crystals forming.
It is still uncertain why some people are more susceptible to crystal formation and gout than others with equally high blood levels of uric acid. Many people with a high level of uric acid in their blood and tissues never develop gout.
One theory is that certain genes you inherit from your parents may make you more likely to develop gout by causing your kidneys that are otherwise healthy to be relatively inefficient at excreting uric acid. Several genes have recently been identified that are associated with high uric acid levels and gout and which influence uric acid elimination by the kidney.
Diet and nutrition are the primary means of treating gout naturally. Dietary treatment for gout sufferers is intended to reduce the production of uric acid to normal levels.
- Eliminate corn, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate
- Eliminate alcohol intake, which both increases uric acid production and reduces uric acid excretion in the kidneys. Elimination of alcohol reduces uric acid levels and prevents gout in many individuals.
- Gout sufferers should maintain a low-purine diet, which completely omits organ meats, shellfish, yeast (brewers and baker’s), herring, sardines, mackerel, and anchovies. Foods with moderate levels of purines, including dried legumes, spinach, asparagus, fish, poultry, and mushrooms, should also be curtailed.
- To control gouty arthritic symptoms, refined carbohydrates and saturated fats should be kept to a minimum.
- Weight reduction in obese individuals, using a high-fiber, low-fat diet is also recommended.
- Cherries, hawthorn berries, blueberries, and other dark red or blue berries are rich sources of compounds that favorably affect collagen metabolism and reduce inflammation of joints. Bioflavonoids found in black cherries have been used to reduce uric acid levels and decrease tissue destruction associated with gout. Gout sufferers could consume half a pound of fresh or unsweetened frozen cherries per day for a period of three to six weeks as a healing protocol.
- Also strongly recommended for arthritic conditions are Noni juice, acai berries, and the whole or juiced goji or wolfberries, high in anti-flammatory properties and loaded with anti-oxidants. Pomegranate fruit extracts have been shown to block enzymes that contribute to cartilage degradation.
- Liberal fluid intake should also be maintained, because it keeps urine diluted and promotes the excretion of uric acid.
For the complete whole foods eating plan we recommend to heal and eliminate all imbalances and disease, connect to the full article: Whole Foods Diet. In many cases, a raw food eating plan can be extremely beneficial. To learn more, read Raw Food Diet.
The most common food allergens of gout patients: dairy products, beef, wheat, yeast (both baker’s and brewers), eggs, chocolate, oranges, sugar, nuts (especially peanuts), corn, green or yellow wax beans, and nightshade vegetables (eggplants, Irish potatoes, green and red peppers, paprika, tomatoes and tobacco).
All gout patients should be tested for food allergies. Once you have identified the foods you are allergic to, the next step is to eliminate them from your diet. Initially, you should completely refrain from eating all allergenic foods for 60-90 days. After this period, you can begin to slowly reintroduce them into your diet. You should also vary the foods that you eat on a daily basis to avoid developing new allergies.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http:/// for a period of up to four weeks.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Digestive enzymes www.qnhshop.com
- Intravenous chelation
- Omega 3s:
From site: For gout patients, the following nutritional supplements are recommended: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 1.8 g daily), vitamin E (400-800 IU daily), folic acid (under a doctor’s supervision, 10-40 mg daily), and quercetin with bromelain (125-250 mg three times a day between meals).
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
- Reiki – this can help with healing to joints – find a local reiki practitioner here
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): Use the incredibly simple but extremely effective Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help with pain relief Emotional trauma — The second factor, which is also almost universally present in most all autoimmune diseases, is some kind of predisposing traumatic emotional insult that typically occurs before the age of five or six. And unless that specific insult is addressed in some type of effective treatment modality, then the underlying emotional trigger will not be removed, allowing the destructive process to proceed. Therefore, it’s very important to have an effective tool to address these underlying emotional traumas. www.rogercallahan.com/ Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
The healing power of cherries: www.naturalnews.com/034658_cherries_gout_arthritis.html
Ayurveda and gout: www.onlymyhealth.com/ayurvedic-treatment-gout-1310371980
All about gout: www.ukgoutsociety.org/docs/2009FinalDietsheet.pdf
Holistic, herbal remedies for gout: www.youtube.com/watch?v=txEZEaEwaDI
Gout and yoga: www.ehow.com/video_8443034_gout-yoga.html
Foot massages for gout: www.ehow.co.uk/video_4985692_foot-massages-gout.html
Cure gout, don’t endure the symptoms: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT-k71reNrE
Vitamin C prevents gout: www.naturalnews.com/026133_vitamin_C_gout_risk.html
Global gout statistics: www.nationmaster.com/graph/mor_gou-mortality-gout
High fructose drinks linked to gout: www.naturalnews.com/030401_HFCS_gout.html
Cure gout using natural means – Rev Serafim Gascoigne; Natural Remedies for Gout, Scott Pritchard; Natural remedies for Gout, What Works and Why, Jeffrey Fisher.
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.